New Warnings Won't Sink ED Drug Sales

Although there's not enough data to confirm a direct effect of erectile dysfunction drugs on hearing loss, the FDA nonetheless issued a warning on Thursday about Pfizer's (NYSE: PFE  ) Viagra, Eli Lilly's (NYSE: LLY  ) Cialis, and Levitra, which is marketed by GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK  ) , Schering-Plough (NYSE: SGP  ) , and Bayer.

The agency said it had received 29 reports of hearing loss in patients taking the erectile dysfunction drugs. These reports go back as far as 1998, when Viagra was approved, so we're only talking about a few cases a year. All the manufacturers will have to add the warning to their labels.

The drugs may make you blind and deaf, but my male intuition says the new warning labels are unlikely to have much effect on sales. But Fools know that numbers are often more reliable than intuition, so I combed through the 10-Ks to bring you proof that men and their partners could care less about side effects -- as long as the drugs work.

2004

2005

2006

Viagra

$1,678

$1,645

$1,657

Cialis

$552

$747

$971

Levitra

$90

$73

$80

Total

$2,320

$2,465

$2,708

Worldwide sales; all figures in millions.

As you can see, the May 2005 FDA warning about the drugs causing blindness in 42 patients doesn't seem to have caused a decline in sales.

This is certainly no Merck (NYSE: MRK  ) Vioxx issue. It's a lot closer to Amylin Pharmaceuticals' (Nasdaq: AMLN  ) issue last week with its diabetes drug Byetta; a few incidents make the FDA jumpy enough to issue the warning. Any investor jumpiness should be looked at as a buying opportunity for Foolish investors.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (5)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 538944, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/24/2014 4:54:36 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Apple's next smart device (warning, it may shock you

Apple recently recruited a secret-development "dream team" to guarantee its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out. In fact, ABI Research predicts 485 million of this type of device will be sold per year. But one small company makes Apple's gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early-in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!


Advertisement